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Oct. 10, 2022

Building the Mil Spouse Tribe

Building the Mil Spouse Tribe

The first meeting of the Mil Spouse Tribe meets this Wednesday, October 12 at 10am EST and noon PST. If you are interested in joining us, email me: themilspousepodcast@gmail.com for access!

I wanted to give a little background info on why I want to build this community, the issues that I have had as a 20 year mil spouse with starting over and feeling isolated. I lay out for you my vision on what I want this group to look like. 

What I share today are just my initial thoughts on creating this community, I am SUPER open to feedback and input to help grow this community into something amazing and supportive for us mil spouses!

As always, thank you for listening! 


[00:00:00] Hey guys, how's it going? So I wanted to do a short kind of show today and talk a little bit more about the Mill Spouse tribe. So when I started this podcast and kind of the impetus behind starting this podcast was our move from Washington State to Colorado and You know, I've been a mill spouse for 20 years.

[00:00:25] It was our eighth move. It was our first Diddy move, or do it yourself move. We moved by ourselves cuz our move from Florida to Washington state was horrendous. And so that was, I was like, I'm, I'm not doing that to our family again. So we have, we moved ourself this last time. Learned a lot from it will definitely continue moving ourselves from now.

[00:00:47] Hopefully we're almost done though. Fingers crossed. But the, the move was, it was hard. It was really hard. It was, and I think it was compounded over the fact that you know, we were still, I in Covid, you know we were kind of over the. The big part of it. But you know, I had homeschooled my girls for that year and stuff was shut down and people, you know, with masks and like the whole nine yards.

[00:01:13] So I think that that was kind of part of it too. But you know, as I'm settling into or , trying to. Get our move together. I, I couldn't find resources on like, you know, that kind of stuff. So that was, that was kind of that part of it. , I wanna have those resources for other military spouses, like, how do I move my house?

[00:01:33] , gimme the specifics, not the generic, , call your insurance company and update your, license and your whatever. That's not that, not that I wanna know, , what do I need to do in my kitchen? , what do I need to do before the movers get there? How can I set myself up for success?

[00:01:47] That kind of stuff. And I've made those episodes, so if you haven't listed them, check 'em out. They were in season one. There were some of the first episodes that I did. But the other part of the move that was so challenging for me, Was the seclusion and the, loneliness that came with that one.

[00:02:07] And, and I always feel it a little bit with each move that we do, but I don't know if it's cuz my, my daughters are getting older. They were eight and nine when we moved here., I don't know if that just gives more space for me to feel my own stuff more, I don't know. But so when we moved from Washington here to Colorado, Michael's orders.

[00:02:26] It was such a disaster. Oh my gosh. In like typical military fashion, it was like, Hey, this is what we want you to do. This is where we want you to go. Okay. That sounds good. And then , oh, by the way, We can't do it that way anymore. We have to do it this way instead. And the, this way of, that part, ended up with us moving in the summer so that the girls could start.

[00:02:49] Well the lease was up on our, the place that we were renting in Washington and the girl, they start school here at the beginning of August. And Michael wasn't due to report until now. Instead of being reporting in September. Reporting in January. So that put us here for about four months by ourselves.

[00:03:11] So the way that it went down is we shipped the girls off to grandma's house, which I highly, highly recommend. If you have the ability to send your kids to family or friends for like a week while you execute your move, highly, highly recommend that. So the girls went to grandma's house. It was just Michael and I and we, you know, I had already been packing the house.

[00:03:35] And so we loaded and drove to Colorado and unloaded and We were lucky enough to purchase a house here in Colorado because the, you know, in a lot of places, I think a lot of people are feeling this as well. The housing market here, the rent is, you know, what you would pay and rent is about what you pay for your mortgage.

[00:03:55] So why would you not buy? So we decided to buy. And so we bought, ended up buying a brand new house because it was the same price as buying a house that's, you know, five to 10 years old that we would wanna change stuff in. So but the downside to that is that there was no landscaping done in the backyard at all.

[00:04:16] And with the girls. And with the dog. So we had just gotten Penny, our puppy. She, she was, Puppy. She was, oh my gosh, we got her in, we got her in May, and we pcsd in July. So she was like, she was like three months old guys. It was, , it was a choice. We made the choice and it ended up being okay, but I was like, I, I need a yard.

[00:04:38] Like we need grass. Like she needs, I need to be able to, I can't have a dirt backyard. So Michael and I got here and we immediately started landscaping and we did it ourselves because you know, everybody knows there's shortages everywhere, right? And there we couldn't find landscapers that had openings in their schedule, number one and number two openings in their schedule within like a certain, like soon not, I mean, they were like eight to 12 weeks out, right?

[00:05:03] And I'm like, That's not gonna fly. And then the cost was just unreal. So we did it ourselves, which we will never, ever do again. But that's beside the point. But anyway, so Michael essentially had like two, it was about two weeks of leave where we packed Washington, moved to Colorado, unpacked, and then we're landscaping the backyard.

[00:05:25] So then the girls get home and like two days later, daddy flies back to Washington State and it's me and my eight and nine year old in Denver. And I know not a soul here. And it was It was a lot. It was a lot. And and I just, you know, went through those periods of, , feeling sorry for myself and I hate this and this sucks, and why does it have to be this way?

[00:05:54] And. I'm, you know, I try to be a very proactive person. , I don't wanna just sit in the ish, right? , let's, like how can we fix it? How can we move forward? And I thought, , the thing that sucks about moving, well, there's a lot of things that suck about moving your life over and over again. But one of the big things is, , you start everything over again, but you have to start your social life over again.

[00:06:16] Right. And we haven't had a huge social life in the last few years because, well, we move every two to three, so that kind of limits you there. And then the girls have been really young and it's, it's, I find that it's hard to, , we don't really go out a lot, but I just thought to myself, I was like, you know, so you like, you get to the new place.

[00:06:33] And for, for us, usually, , we start school shortly thereafter and so I joined the PTA and how can I help in the classroom? And so you kind of get to know some people that way. And then , I'm in the fitness industry, , I go and start working at a gym and so that's , I get to know people that way a little bit.

[00:06:49] And then in the neighborhood, , our society is, I think it depends on where you live, but man, we are so , Introverted and not social for the most part. You know what I mean? , so we've lived in our house now here in Denver. We've been here for a year, and I've never talked to the people that live directly across the street from us, never talked to 'em.

[00:07:11] I've waved to them like once or twice. Never, ever talk to them. And, and it's like, I feel like it's like that in a lot of places where you go, like, you just don't, you don't, your neighbors come home, they go in their house. They, you know what I mean? Like, people don't spend a lot of time outside. We're not having block parties.

[00:07:25] And again, that's not everywhere, but that's been our experience. And then you gotta dig into, and this is a unique situation for us, is that , Michael is in a very small section of the Navy in the strategic systems program and there's not a lot of 'em.

[00:07:42] And so we are not usually associated with bases. We were in Washington. Date he was at the sub base in banger, but that's the first base that we've been attached to since he switched from surface ships to engineering. And so what that looks like is his workforce is mostly civilians and the military staff is pretty small.

[00:08:07] And and so I don't have. , FRG or the big family group, whatever other branches call it we just don't have that to tap into where, hey, we're all, all of the, all of our, you know, significant others are in the same unit or they're all on the same boat or whatever. We, we don't have that. So I feel like I've really been missing that component of it because, , it's great to have civilian friends.

[00:08:33] Honestly, there's a lot of stuff that civilians just don't understand about our lifestyle. They don't get. They don't, you know, it's just, it's nice to be able to talk to another male spouse because they just get it. You don't have to explain stuff. You don't have to be like, Oh yeah, but, you know, you don't get the, the questions of like, Oh, well, but why is moving hard?

[00:08:51] Don't they do everything for you? Oh, for the love . We'll do a show on that one eventually when I can like tame my sas because holy crap. But I don't have that to tap into. Right. So then it's all social. Right. And I have a love hate relationship with social media. I dunno if you guys do as well, but like I think that there is a place for Facebook and Instagram and things like that, but it's also a pain in the neck cuz every time you move to a new place, you gotta find the new face.

[00:09:19] Book group and where, and there a lot of 'em are private or you, you know, they're hard to find. , , and they're called different names. So then you can't just say, , the city that you're in and find groups that you're looking for, ? So I haven't found that to be a great.

[00:09:36] And so I thought to myself, number one, I didn't have the resources that I was looking for. We were trying to move and all, and, and there's so much about military life and support that I don't know about. I just haven't heard about it. And I think that that's a big issue for us as military spouses is there are so many resources.

[00:09:54] I mean like ungodly amount of resources. But you have to know about them. If you don't know about them, then you can't access them. You can't use them. Right. So that's, what I'm using this platform for is let's get this information out so you know, what's available to you. Talking to other spouses about their jobs and whatnot.

[00:10:10] Because. Careers are so hard, and I've experienced that myself. And then the friend part of it. So that's where the mill spouse tribe is coming from. I wanna create a group and it's gonna be virtual, which I know we were just, I was just poo pooing virtual, but I want it to be different., I want you guys to help me grow it because I want it to be something that everybody, That is gonna benefit everybody.

[00:10:31] I just wanna give you the background of what I want it to look like. Or how I kind of envision it in my head. I don't want it to be , just a free for all kind of thing. I want it to have a little bit of structure, but at the same time, I want it to be open and accessible and not super rule oriented.

[00:10:50] Do you know what I mean? But I think that we need to have boundaries in order to make it effective and for people to wanna be a part of it. I read a book. That I actually, I talked about it on my Instagram. It's called a Tribe Called Bliss, and I cannot remember who wrote it at this particular moment.

[00:11:08] But I really, really liked the book a lot and. What it is, is it's essentially a blueprint for building your tribe. And she lays out, I mean, she's got like, there's all of these guidelines to follow to keep it really intentional and productive and effective. And so I wanna use that framework to build the male spouse tribe.

[00:11:35] So this is what, in my mind, it looks. . I'm thinking we meeting weekly or, and I think we'll get to weekly, but for right now, it'll probably, while we're still trying to start it biweekly where I'm getting a little caught up is the time, right. Because, I'm in mountain time here in Denver, and then there's Pacific and East Coast and then overseas like that.

[00:11:57] That's gonna be, that's gonna be tricky and I'm not a hundred percent sure how to figure that out yet, but I'm thinking. That maybe there'll be small little cohorts. And so each particular place can have cohorts of people that are in that same time zone. I want to keep the groups small.

[00:12:15] I want there to be four to five people in each group. I'm thinking what it's gonna be will be an initial. We come onto a Zoom. It's gonna be Zoom for right now, but I would like to take it to a different platform eventually as we grow. But just for the ease of it doing Zoom for now.

[00:12:31] So initial Zoom, everybody kind of comes in, Hey, how's it going? Welcome. And then going into breakout rooms where there's four to five people in each one. And this is why, because in the breakout room I want it to be. Well, I want it to be, gosh, again, , I don't want to have super strict rules, but at the same time, I think you have to have a little bit so that it's effective and that is respect your time, respecting other people in your group's time.

[00:12:58] Don't be late , , So ideally what it looks like is everybody, we have a group of four to five people. We have an. And so if you have four to five, if you have like four people or five people in an hour, you would have five minutes to kind of, Hey, welcome, everybody's here.

[00:13:13] Great. This is the how, this is what we're gonna talk about today. Cause I was thinking it would be good to have like a specific topic and then each person gets 10 minutes and there's one person in the group that'll be the timekeeper. and each person gets 10 minutes. You start your time when there's like two minutes.

[00:13:30] You're like, Hey, just let me know you have two minutes and that 10 minutes is yours and you can do. , whatever you want in that time. You can talk about things that might be things that might be really hard for you right now. Things that you're concerned about, questions that you might have just to be able to talk and vent.

[00:13:48] Because I feel like, and I feel like this is mostly gonna be women, I'm not opposed to having guys in here too, there's lots of male military spouses out there as well. In human nature, just want to be heard, right? You wanna be heard and you wanna feel seen. You want to just be listened to, right?

[00:14:05] I don't know if you guys had this conversation with your spouse. We've gotten there. It's taken a long time. We've been married for 20 years, and we've finally gotten to the point where Michael will be. Do you want me to just listen right now or do you want me to try and fix this? And a lot of times I just wanna bitch, I just wanna vent.

[00:14:23] I just wanna get it out, right? And so I want this to be a space for that and. . So then what that looks like as the listener, as in the group is that, , I want people to have a very specific mindset when we're in there, and that is when it is the person's turn to talk. They have the floor, and if they want feedback, they can say, I would like feedback on this, but it is not a, Oh, I had the same thing and you, and it gets your, your time.

[00:14:51] Taken by someone else that wants to share something similar that happened to them, right? So I want everybody's time to be very sacred in that you get that time for yourself unless you're asking for feedback. This is what's going on. I don't know what to do. What do you think? And then the responses are, Are helping that person specifically and, and not turning it into, oh, something like that happened to me too, and turning it into a story for yourself.

[00:15:20] Does that make sense? So so then each person gets 10 minutes and then you take five minutes at the end to wrap it up. So I ideally, You know, you have the opportunity to really get to know some people and you have the opportunity to be heard in an environment of people that are going through the same stuff that you are.

[00:15:40] Right? And then , we can tweak it and move it to what, what feels good for you. Like I'm. I'm a stay at home mom with young kids, and I just wanna be able to vent to about things that are happening with us and frustrations that I'm having, and we've got an upcoming PCs and da, da, da da, da da.

[00:15:58] Or maybe I have a small business that I'm starting and these are issues that I'm having with that. And so maybe we have a cohort of people that are in that frame so that people have that support. That's where I would like it to go. What, what I see in my, in my brain is that I want there to be some construction around it, but I also want it to be like, I don't want it to be super rules, rules, rules.

[00:16:20] Cause I don't like that, but I also want it to be open for everybody. I try very hard, I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I don't talk about rank on this show and I don't talk about political stuff really. Because , I don't want this to be a polarizing podcast. I want it to be open for everybody.

[00:16:35] And so, as far as I'm concerned, and it's always been this way for me, is I could care less what your rank is. , I could care less what your what your spouse's job is. , it doesn't matter to me. , we're all going through similar situations. And , I don't think that rank and that political stuff comes into it, so I wanna keep all of.

[00:16:56] Out. And this is really just a how can we as a community support each other because, you know, the situations that we go through are very unique and and it's so refreshing to talk to another military spouse. That's one of the things that I love so much about the interviews that I do with other military spouses about their businesses and careers and products and things like that, is.

[00:17:19] , It's just fun to talk to and you're like, Oh God, yay. I went through something like that. And, and it's just, you know, and we just get it. Like, we just get it and it's so nice to have that camaraderie and to have that connection. And I just wanna build that on a larger scale. So, That's what I have in my brain.

[00:17:37] This Wednesday, October 12th, 10:00 AM Eastern, 12:00 PM Pacific is going to be the first meeting of that. So that's happening in two days. If you are interested in helping me launch this and helping me grow this to be something really cool and beneficial to all of us send me a DM on Instagram.

[00:18:00] The Mill Spouse podcast or an email at the mill spouse podcast gmail.com, and I will get you the link to come into the meeting. And yeah, that's it. I just wanted to share. I'm excited. This is, I feel like this is something that we could all really benefit from and that is needed. So I'm really excited for you guys to help me grow it.

[00:18:22] All right, talk to you soon.